Davis tops tight end list

Vernon Davis (left) finally lived up to the hype and his talent in 2009.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Looking back on the past NFL season to evaluate what went right and what went wrong is always a valuable tool. So today, in the fourth part of the series, we take a look at the tight end position and check performance with expected value which in this case is measured by Average Draft Position (ADP).

Bargain - Vernon Davis, Dallas Clark, Brent Celek, Antonio Gates, Heath Miller, Visanthe Shiancoe, Jermichael Finley, Fred Davis

San Francisco 49ers' tight end Vernon Davis was the 20th tight end off the board, but finally lived up to the hype and his talent (13 touchdown receptions, league-leading 212 fantasy points). It helped that he got some better quarterback play than in past seasons and a settling of that position will help keep him as a top-five performer next year. The combination of leading all tight ends in fantasy scoring and being such a low selection on Draft Day means that Davis sweeps both the 2009 TSN Fantasy Tight End Award and the Best Bargain Award.

Dallas Clark got off to a smoking start, cooled in mid-season then threw in two huge games at playoff time - a 25-point effort in Week 14 and a 24-point game the following week. His 100 catches led the position.

Like Davis, the Eagles' Brent Celek was a low selection (ADP 182) who shined. He had two 100-yard weeks in the first three games and also put together two good playoff performances in Week 14 (15 points) and Week 16 (21 points).

Antonio Gates had at least five receptions in each of his first six games as he led the position in yardage. he also came through in the clutch, scoring a touchdown in every fantasy playoff week.

Visanthe Shiancoe benefited from having an All-Pro quarterback behind center, pulling down 11 touchdowns. Early on that's all he did, catch TD passes, but later in the season he started getting some yards too.

Fair Market Value - Jason Witten, Kellen Winslow, Zach Miller, Greg Olsen, Todd Heap, Owen Daniels, Kevin Boss, Ben Watson, Marcedes Lewis, Brandon Pettigrew

Jason Witten certainly didn't have a bad year (94-1,030-2), but the lack of touchdown catches dropped him to fifth in the standings. That and being the first guy off the board leaves you with a "Fair Market Value" grade.

Owen Daniels would have easily jumped into the "Bargain" category if not for a season-ending injury in Week 8. Double his first-half production and you would have seen a top-four performer.

Overpaid - Tony Gonzalez, Greg Olsen, John Carlson, Jeremy Shockey, Dustin Keller, Tony Scheffler

Gonzalez (ADP 64.2) was with a new team, a new system and a new quarterback and it showed. Plus expectations after a monster 2008 (96-1,058-10) left him short of being the No.2 guy at the position.

After a solid rookie season, expectations were too high for Carlson to reach. Fantasy owners saw Hasselbeck returning and another wide receiver threat in T.J. Houshmandzadeh and thought Carlson would beat single coverage all day long. It just didn't happen that way.

Bust - Chris Cooley

Injuries felled the perennial top-five Redskins' tight end and opened the door for the second-year tight end from USC, Fred Davis to shine.

2009-10 Tight End Statistics
PlayerTeamADPPTS
Vernon DavisSF196.8212
Dallas ClarkIND75.4207
Antonio GatesSD67.4195
Brent CelekPHI182.0164
Jason WittenDAL53.1158
Tony GonzalezATL64.2147
Kellen WinslowTB92.9141
Heath MillerPIT175.2140
Zach MillerOAK139.8126
Visanthe ShiancoeMIN178.8124
Greg OlsenCHI105.6124
Jermichael FinleyGB230.0116
John CarlsonSEA127.1107
Todd HeapBAL241.3100
Owen DanielsHOU100.096
Fred DavisWAS246.094
Kevin BossNYG194.491
Jeremy ShockeyNO153.677
Ben WatsonNE245.068
Dustin KellerNYJ124.962
Marcedes LewisJAC241.159
Chris CooleyWAS100.454
Bo ScaifeTEN187.754
Tony SchefflerDEN153.352
Brandon PettigrewDET244.550


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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